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12 workers dead in Chongqing collapse

TWELVE workers died yesterday in a building collapse at a chemical storage facility in southwest China's Chongqing.

The accident occurred at about 4pm at the Jianfeng Chemical Co Ltd building, which was under construction when the ceiling caved in, said Tang Zongwei, the government chief of the Fuling District, where the structure is located.

"As of 8:30pm rescuers recovered all 12 bodies from the debris. No new bodies were found after several checks," he said.

The company, under the Chongqing Chemical and Pharmaceutical Molding (Group) Company, mainly produces fertilizer. The ceiling was 30 meters in diameter and more than 10 meters high.

"There was no chemical leakage as the facility was still under construction and had not been put into use," Tang said.

An investigation into the accident was continuing.

Meanwhile, in southwest China's Yunnan Province, at least 17 people were injured in a workshop blast yesterday.

The explosion occurred at the Yunnan Yuntianhua Co Ltd, a leading Chinese chemical fertilizer producer in Shuifu County, at around 1pm.

Seven workers at the scene were injured, none seriously, by broken windows. Another 10 people who lived near the factory received minor injuries.

The cause of the blast was not immediately known, and work safety authorities continued an investigation, said Zhu Junhong, deputy director of the Shuifu County Work Safety Administration.

An unspecified number of houses were damaged, and broken glass was scattered on the road.

More than 400 local officials were dispatched to check on nearby residents and damaged houses.


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